ODC/Dance Presents: Summer Sampler
Delight in the sweetness of summer with a taste of ODC/Dance. Experience renowned company favorites, including Brenda Way’s witty reflection on unrestrained self interest in Unintended Consequences (A Meditation), Kimi Okada’s award winning examination of secret languages in Two If By Sea, KT Nelson’s Going Solo for ODC veteran Private Freeman, Amy Seiwert’s heartfelt duet Veronica & Vincent, and Dexandro Montalvo’s Impulse, an explosive quartet for four women.
Summer Sampler wraps with the ODC 50+ Anniversary Block Party, a free to all celebration of the ODC campus at 17th and Shotwell Streets in the heart of the Mission District. Featured events include KT Nelson's mobile magnum opus Path of Miracles, short works choreographed by members of ODC/Dance, and much more for the whole family!
Unintended Consequences (A Meditation)
Choreography by Brenda Way
Unintended Consequences (A Meditation) premiered in 2008 set to music by renowned performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson. Commissioned by the Equal Justice Society, an Oakland, California-based organization working to transform the nation’s consciousness on issues of race and social justice, Unintended Consequences “offers a cutting critique of human relationships, and of how easily we become isolated” (The New York Times). The work considers the effects of America’s fetish of individualism and its perversion into “every man for himself.”
Two If By Sea
Choreography by Kimi Okada
Described as a duet in which the dancers evolve “from competitors into soft-shoed lovers” (San Francisco Chronicle), Two If By Sea is Okada’s poignant and comic masterpiece, a work which manages to combine flamenco, vaudeville and Morse code, set to a score by Steve Reich. In 2015, Two If By Sea received an Izzie award for outstanding achievement in choreography.
Choreography by KT Nelson
ODC/Dance premiered Going Solo in 2016 in honor of Private Freeman’s return to the company after an absence of seven years. Freeman joined the company in 1996, leaving in 2008 to reenlist in the National Guard and to take on other projects. He returned in 2015 where he remains today as the dancer of longest duration in the company’s history. With choreography by KT Nelson and Freeman, and direction by Nelson, this summer Freeman will reprise the role he originated.
Veronica & Vincent
Choreography by Amy Seiwert
Set to a score by violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, Seiwert’s Veronica and Vincent narrates the story of a true-life relationship. Roumain blends his original violin composition with snippets of an interview he recorded with an elder from his neighborhood recounting, with some regret, her relationship with her deceased husband. Veronica and Vincent premiered in 2011, and was later reimagined as a film which premiered in 2013.
Choreography by Dexandro Montalvo
Created in 2014, and featuring music by Someone Else & Miskate, Impulse celebrates “individuality, physicality and ferocity of movement.” The piece was nominated for an Izzie award for outstanding choreography.
- Brenda Way
Founder, Artistic Director
Brenda Way received her early training at the School of American Ballet and Ballet Arts in New York City. She is the founder and artistic director of ODC/Dance and creator of the ODC Theater and ODC Dance Commons, community performance and training venues in San Francisco’s Mission District. She launched ODC and helped create an inter-arts department at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in the late 1960's before relocating to the Bay Area in 1976.
Brenda has choreographed more than 85 pieces over the last 45 years. Her commissions include Unintended Consequences: A Meditation (2008) Equal Justice Society; Life is a House (2008) San Francisco Girls Chorus; On a Train Heading South (2005) CSU Monterey Bay; Remnants of Song (2002) Stanford Lively Arts; Scissors Paper Stone (1994) Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Western Women (1993) Cal Performances, Rutgers University and Jacob's Pillow; Ghosts of an Old Ceremony (1991) Walker Art Center and The Minnesota Orchestra; Krazy Kat (1990) San Francisco Ballet; This Point in Time (1987) Oakland Ballet; Tamina (1986) San Francisco Performances; and Invisible Cities (1985) Stanford Lively Arts and the Robotics Research Laboratory. Her work Investigating Grace was named an NEA American Masterpiece in 2011.
- Kimi Okada
KIMI OKADA (Associate Choreographer, Director of ODC School)is a founding member of ODC. Her work includes more than 26 choreographed works for ODC/Dance, as well as commissions and collaborations with Geoff Hoyle, Bill Irwin, Julie Taymor, and Robin Williams. She has choreographed productions for the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco, Yale Repertory Theater, the New Victory Theater in New York, the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, Theatre for a New Audience in New York, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the American Music Theater Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Pickle Family Circus, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.
She was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Largely New York, which she co-choreographed with Bill Irwin. She received a 2014 Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Choreography for ODC’s Two If by Sea.
Since 1996, Kimi has served as director of the ODC School, which she has brought to the forefront of international and national dance education for youth and adults. She has been honored with a California State Legislature Assembly Resolution for choreographic and community contributions. She also directs one of ODC’s teen companies, the Dance Jam.
- KT Nelson
KT NELSON (ODC Fellow) joined ODC/Dance in 1976 and partners with Brenda Way in directing the ODC/Dance Company. KT choreographed and directed the Company’s first full-length family ballet in 1986, The Velveteen Rabbit. The production has become a holiday tradition in the Bay Area engaging generations of dance goers, young and less so.
KT has been awarded the Isadora Duncan Dance Award four times: in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 and 2012 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Her collaborators have included Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Hoyle, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Max Chen, Zap Mama, and Joan Jeanrenaud. In 2008, her work RingRounRozi, in collaboration with French-Canadian composer Linda Bouchard, was selected to be performed at the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival. In 2009 Nelson was one of three artists selected for Austin Ballet’s New American Talent Competition. In 2012 she created new work for Western Michigan University as part of their Great Works Dance Project.
In addition to her work as a choreographer, Nelson ran the summer dance department for Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University 2003-2006, and founded the ODC Dance Jam in 1997. Over the last 25 years, KT has played a major role in defining and implementing ODC’s on-going and project-based outreach programs. She has mentored the Margaret Jenkins’ Chime Project and continues to mentor emerging artists in the Bay Area and abroad.
- Amy Seiwert
Amy Seiwert serves as the Artistic Director of the San Francisco contemporary ballet company, Imagery. She enjoyed a nineteen-year performing career with Smuin, and LA Chamber Ballets. As a dancer with Smuin Contemporary Ballet she was mentored under the wing of the late Michael Smuin and was the company’s Choreographer in Residence from 2008-2018. Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, SF Chronicle called her first full evening of choreography a “Top 10” dance event (2007.) Other awards include an IZZIE Award for Outstanding Choreography and a “Goldie” from the Bay Guardian. Her ballets have been supported by the NEA, The Rainin Foundation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Joyce Theater in New York City. A former Resident Artist at ODC Theater, her ballets are in the repertory of Ballet Austin, Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, and American Repertory Ballets as well as Robert Moses KIN and AXIS Dance.
Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo
- Dexandro Montalvo
Born and raised in New York, Montalvo is a San Francisco based director, choreographer, dancer, and dance educator. A professional dancer with Robert Moses Kin and various other companies for over 6 seasons, his choreographic commissions include works for RMK, Liss Fain Dance Company, LINES Ballet Training Program/Summer Program, The Black Eyed Peas, DanceWorks Chicago, MINI (USA), Mini Amp Live, SF Ballet School, Concept o4, Dance Mission’s Dance Brigade, Sleepy Hollow Performing Arts Center, Cardinal Ballet, University of SF Dance Ensemble, Marin School of the Arts, & the ODC Dance Jam. Montalvo and his choreography have appeared on the MTV, BET, Telemundo and Fox networks. Montalvo is a past Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre of San Francisco (in his tenure DTSF won two of the four Isadora Duncan award nominations including “Outstanding Choreography” for his ballet, “Pent”). Additionally, he was awarded a 2019 Saint Louis Inner Circle Award for “Such Sweet Thunder”, won an Izzie Award for his choreography in “Art Behind Bars” in 2014 and was nominated for another with “Impluse” in 2015 (RMK commission).
As a dance educator, Montalvo currently teaches at SF Ballet, USF, Dominican University of California (LINES BFA Program), LINES Ballet Training Program & ODC Dance Commons. Dexandro also serves as Assistant Director and Rehearsal Master of ODC’s pre-professional teen company. He has also taught at many other schools including Stanford University, SUNY Purchase College and Sleepy Hollow Performing Arts Center. Montalvo holds a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase College.
Photo by Andrea Basil
Header image by Andrew Weeks
ODC graciously thanks the following institutions for their support of Summer Sampler:
Bernard Osher Foundation
John and Marcia Goldman Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
SF Grants for the Arts
U.S. Small Business Administration
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation